Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Harry Potter Blood Pops

They don't taste like blood.

And they kind of don't taste much like strawberry either.

They're red lollipops, covered in dark red dust, which is pretty much tasteless and turned out to be red dye. Once you get past the tasteless red dye you're presented with an oddly flavored lollipop. It's not really... Strawberry. Or blood. It's just kinda odd.

They must be a hell of a lot better in Harry Potter's world. Or I'm not a vampire (who they're marketed to in Harry Potter's world).

So. I have nine more. Nine more not blood, not strawberry pops.


It kinda makes me wish they were blood flavored. That would at least be something. I mean, if lollipops with bugs inside can get sold, why don't we have blood flavored pops?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The winding, convoluted, confusing path of the Internet

After Cliff and Kevin both told me about AT&T's Ten Dollar DSL, I finally signed up for it.

The process took at least three days. ^_^

Three days of surfing unaffiliated pages telling me about the offer and then tearing through nearly a dozen pages at the official website trying to find it. Arg! The FCC might be forcing their hand with this deal, but AT&T is doing everything they can not to admit such a thing exists.

Supposidly my new modem will arrive Friday, and Randy is going to come help me set it up, if I can't figure it out (not usually the problem. it's the getting them to talk part, for me) and then I can acctually go on YouTube at home. And do... Other things, which require faster internet...


Friday, June 22, 2007

School is Not Out for Summer

Thank god.

For those of you in the know (and have probably heard me bitching about this at least *once* a semester) KSU has again tried to end my college career.

Usually it's a typo somewhere, or some mailing list I've accidentally gotten on (thanks Admissions Office!), or the School claims it's not their job to inform me of anything and therefore I should have known to look on some obscure part of their website to see that they didn't tell me about a fee that they charged me for and then didn't tell me about the late fees they tacked onto that since I never paid the fee since I didn't know about it and now I have two days to pay the exorbidant bill or I'll have all my classes cancled.

The thing is, I love college. I love the classes, the books (not the prices), making my own schedule, having teachers talk to you like you're a real person. Pretty much everything. Especially the Halo Effect of being a College Student.

*begin rant*

What I hate is KSU. There's this guy that works in the Bursars office who's probably won the Most Callous Jerk of the year award for several years running. And of the people I've had to deal with in the Finantial Aid office this semester alone, there has been the Director who listened to ESPN Radio on his computer while I tried to explain my situation, and the guy who gets belligerent with me every time I go in there ("But I don't understand how I can be in Academic Failure when I had a B average last semester." "Well, I don't understand any other way I can explain it to you.")

I can't wait until I graduate so the Alumni Association can call me to ask for a donation and I can tell them where they can put it.

*end rant*

So, what happened after being mislead on my paperwork to solve the Problem-of-the-Semester is that had I been told correctly what was going on THREE WEEKS AGO I probably could have gone to the SAP Committee then and pled my case, rather than filling out paperwork for them, which was only going to be filed in the fall (thanks Finantial Aid!), and after three weeks there was nothing to be done about the situation the school created and that I had to pay for my tuition out of pocket. Not something you like to hear with less than a week to come up with said tuition.

Dad came up with it yesterday, right before the 5pm deadline. So I'm a college student for at least the rest of this semester, and I'm supposed to wait and see what the Committee says about Fall. Fat chance. I'm going to the Dean as soon as possible, and the Student Success Dean, and pretty much anyone else I can get to listen to me at school.

On other topics, I saw over on Charles' blog that he was writing about "Comfort Reading". Hrm. I'm not sure that I do that. But I have travel reading. I always take Clive Barker's The Thief of Always with me when I go on a trip. I was very happy when it came out in comics a few years ago, and I thought the art did a great job of capturing all the characters. Nearly as good a job as Barker's own sketches did. Jive was always a favorite of mine with his shark's grin, and Carna always made me feel pity...

And as for Brett... I still remember the time I was in a coffee shop for a Nanowrimo 2006 event and someone said "Rofl" right in the middle of a conversation. I think it was the first time I'd ever actually heard someone say an internet word. Since then it's been everywhere.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

How to Script.

Heh. I don't know. I really don't. I could maybe tell you how to script a comic, considering I did that once, and I didn't finish the project... (Though with the advent of the Multiple Earths again in DC, suddenly my idea becomes more and more viable, in some ways. In others, the deaths of a few DC characters have changed certain things...)

I've been writing since... The third or fourth grade. Probably before that, because there's a copy of something my Mom transcripted that I made up about two dinosaurs going on a road trip together. It's accompanied by a drawing, in crayon, of the dinosaurs, their car, and their top hats.

But the fourth grade is the closest I can come to dating this momentous event. Being the kid who got the notes home about reading books under the desk in math class, and missing the bus a few times because I went to the school library *really quick* after class let out meant that there was a time where I was pretty sure I'd read all the fiction in my elementary's library. And my teacher assigned what was probably a Christopher Pike novel.

It was bad.

I think most of his books are bad, and I think I've only read one of his "Fear Street" novels. Tripe, I guess.

This book was so bad, I put it down, and with all the gravitas a elementary school child can muster I said, "Even I can write something better than that."

It was total hubris that put me on this path. ^_^ You have to love that.

One of the first things I wrote was this almost exact copy of a fantasy book I loved called "The Dragon's Egg". The next thing I wrote was some garbage about my best friend being a werewolf.

But in the fourth grade, there was a writing contest, and I know I entered that. I didn't win. Meh.

So, years, and years later, with a huge Rubbermaid crate in the garage of handwritten fiction later, here I am writing a script. Which wasn't originally what I planned on doing this June, but sometimes things happen.

I was sure me and this script thing weren't going to jive. The comic one hadn't panned out, and I remember being confounded by it. And when I was chatting with Erin, who runs all the MLs for NaNoWriMo, I sort of accidentally agreed to ML (and write a script) for Script Frenzy.

Cheerfully press ganged I set about learning how to write a script. It looks very complicated. It's probably that complicated. I don't know. I'm kind of ignoring half the rules. They have an "Intro to Screenwriting" explanation on the Script Frenzy site but when it gets to all this "INT. SARAH'S BEDROOM - DAY" that's about where I get the confounded feeling. Why not just write "Interior"? And all this tabbing? What?

What I really wanted to say in this post, somewhere, is that I'm really happy and thankful to all the people that are commenting on my post, and telling me how it is, and what it needs to do. In script writing I have no idea how much I'm allowed to describe things, or what camera angles are, or where I'm supposed to put things.

This loops back to what I was saying earlier about writing in the fourth grade. Because, you see, I didn't stop there. I just kept writing. I wrote a novel between the fifth and sixth grades. It's badly awesome, hand written, all one paragraph, and the characters all have preposterous rock star names like "Wind" or "Tornado" or "Lighting". I spell "vampire" five different ways on the FIRST page. It's about... 450+ pages.

I wrote another novel in High School at some point, and this one tops out around four hundred or five hundred hand written pages. It was so good that my friends all passed it around, in this huge three ring binder. Imagine getting High Schoolers to willingly read- I mean, for some that's not so hard, but others, it's like herding cats. Most of High School I wrote fanfic, sparsely populated with original work. Randy tells me that we learned how to plot novels in High School English class, but I don't remember that. Or if I do, that might have been the first time we actually used all the writing terminologies that confuse me to this day.

And, then, I got out of High School and went to college, and wrote more fanfic.

And then, there was NaNoWriMo. I wrote my first Novel for that in 2004. I even bought the writing book Chris Baty wrote.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the first writing book I ever read. The first "How to" of any kind, on the craft.

Pretty much, it was the last too, because other than that book I find writing guides really confusing. What is this "story arc" that they speak of, what are all these "acts"? I have no idea. I mean, I get it, that these things exist and you can diagram a novel into sections and pieces, and label them all like a map of how to get there. But I never think like that.

This happens, so that happens, and then the characters go here.

Except with names and places thrown in. That makes sense to me, and it follows whatever a story is supposed to follow. It's like calling the thigh bone a femur (except I know what that is, so the metaphor doesn't work quite right).

I guess this is what happens when you read enough; you know how the tale works, without any need for the mechanics therein.

[22:19] Randy: its the diffrnce between a wizard and a sorcerer
[22:19] Bento: one learns, one figures it out?
[22:19] Randy: something like that
[22:20] Randy: sorcerers have natural magical abilty they just tap into
[22:20] Randy: wizards must study for years for the simplest spells
[22:22] Bento: i'm gonna quote you in my blog
[22:23] Randy: yay! i feel special!

What I wanted to make a point of, is that all my fiction writing has been me, by myself, figuring it out. I read a lot, so that's really been my only teacher of how to do things, and I think for the longest time that I didn't know there were writing guides. I just picked up a pencil one day, and said, "I'm going to write a story." and all it had to do was be better than the book I'd read. And then I kept going, until now. Which is thirteen years, and only three years ago did I pick up a writing manual. What people read of mine, is all homemade, and self crafted. I put those words in order, not just in the literal sense of pen on paper or keyboard onto screen, but in the sense that I invented this by myself. (well, I suppose that's goofy to say I invented writing, but I mean that I invented my own writing) I didn't know other writers personally, in real life, until I was well into High School and we never talked shop. The first time I actually talked shop with other writers was, *surprise* Work Dinner. Which is why half the time I sit around with this happy face and glazed eyes, just insanely pleased to hear Cliff and Charles talk about writing something, or how they came up with it, or an idea.

I hope I'm not coming off like a pretentious ass, who thinks they can write anything without looking at books about it, or asking for help. I don't want to sound like that. I want help. Because I have no idea what I'm doing with script format. ^_^

But I am very flattered that everyone took the time to read it, and tell me what they think. And I'm glad they sound like they're really talking. ^_^ I'm pretty sure that's the goal. I'm gonna go poke at the script with Cliff's words in mind, and see what difference it makes. I might post a revision...

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Script Sample

TERRI: Well, there you go.

CORINE: There I go what?

TERRI: (sighs) Guys aren't that complicated, you know. He's in High School and he wants to be edgy and intellectual. Whats edgy and intellectual?

CORINE: Nietzsche?

TERRI: Yes. So he buys all of it out, and he reads it a little-

CORINE: He read all of it.

TERRI: So he reads all of it, and now he's edgy and intellectual. You're brilliant, and he's kind of...

CORINE: Intellectual?

TERRI: (leans around the shelf, bodice ripper in hand) Do chicks really dig this?

CORINE: I guess. Seems like it sells well enough.

TERRI: It damn near pays the bills around here.

CORINE: About Bobby?

TERRI: Yeah, sure. Intellectual. Thats what he is. So you two hook up, and do “intellectual” things together. Except, when the time comes he doesn't step up to bat at being intellectual. He goes for the car repair job, and you go on to college. Who's the intellectual one now?

CORINE: (quietly) I am?

Friday, June 1, 2007

Script Frenzy Update

Script Frenzy is definitely a horse of a different color from NaNoWriMo.

Again, I'm impressed with what the sheer fact of having a deadline can do to my writing ability. I haven't been writing much of anything the last few months, besides the occasional Fairy Tale and prodding at the sequel to my 2004 Nano... "Rome" seems to stuck in idle at the moment... Kinda blah, really. I need to do more writing.

So, give me a deadline and a contest and... From four to ten this afternoon I was writing. I was having a Kick Off party at my house at the same time, but lots of writing got done during that too.

In fact, 4,408 words of the 20,000 required got done today.

I'm kinda shocked. I'm pretty sure I'm not doing all the "How to Script" stuff exactly to the letter, but it's coming along like I like.

It's easier than it looks. Kinda like one of those fanfic all dialog only contests.

The thing where this is a different horse is the socializing aspect of Script Frenzy. No one was at the Atlanta Kick Off Party, except me. And I'm the Kennesaw/Marietta ML. So, I sent out invites and put a message on the Script Frenzy site, that I'm having a Kick Off. This gets the attention of about 45 people, about five or six of which RSVP.

Allison showed up. That's it. Weird.

We both ate cookies and wore name tags and wrote a lot so it was a good evening and Bailey was frantic making sure every one's hands were clean, so all around it was a lot of fun. I hope all those people who stayed home had fun too.